Director Joseph Kosinski’s 2010 science fiction film Tron: Legacy has become a cult favorite in the years since its release, much like the original Tron from 1982. Both films underperformed at the box office upon release, squashing hopes for a sequel, but steadily grew dedicated followings thanks to the worlds imagined on screen. Thanks to their state-of-the-art technology and commitment to bringing something new and unique to life, they have captured the imaginations of millions who chose to venture into their dangerous digital worlds.
Like the original Tron, Tron: Legacy follows the story of a man trapped inside a digital world known as The Grid where the forces of order and rebellion clash. Here in Tron: Legacy, its Sam Flynn, who is sucked into the world of The Grid in his search for his long missing father, Kevin, who once traveled to The Grid in the original film. Once in this digital world, Sam is quickly forced to fight for his life in gladiatorial combat and against the digital overlords who have come to oppress all others. It’s a simple story, but, much like the first film, is meant as more of a simple skeleton upon which is built a vibrant and unforgettable world.
A Deeply Human and Lovely Supernatural Tale
Soon after its 2016 release in Japan, writer and director Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name became the highest-grossing anime film ever released worldwide, making waves in both Japan and countries around the globe. With a simple-seeming story of a teenage boy and girl who swap bodies, the idea of Your Name seems like a been-there-done-that movie, but through gorgeous animation, some unexpected twists on the central concept, and two wonderful central characters, Your Name is among some of the best animated films released in the last several years. It’s a rousing, earnest, lovely success on every front.
Your Name is focused on two characters, Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi), a high school girl who lives in the rural and quiet mountain town of Itomori, and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a high school boy in Tokyo. These two suddenly begin to swap bodies at random, waking up in each other’s forms at the start of various mornings and left to figure out their new surroundings and relationships without ruining each other’s lives. Their time spent in vastly different day-to-day lives begins to expand their worldview and opinions of one another, leading to burgeoning feelings and a very unexpected chance at falling in love.
It’s best to go into Your Name knowing as little of the plot as possible, as Shinkai has purposefully made his film into a mini-mystery that creates joy through its many gradual reveals. It’s evident from the start that there are many things to be learned throughout the course of Your Name, as the film quickly hits the viewer with a multitude of concepts and hints that won’t be revealed until later. Thankfully, there’s a deft hand behind them all, which turns what could be infuriating questions into exciting seeds that will eventually blossom for satisfying reveals.
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